"Equity feminism" and rape

(This is the second of three posts on “equity feminism” and “gender feminism.” Part one is here; part three is here).

How far do “equity feminists” go in denying that there’s any widespread problem of sexism for feminism to address in the US? Here’s Hoff Sommers describing the “equity feminist” view of rape. First, she points out that in prison – which is to say, in an environment where men have absolutely no access to women – male rape is common. The she says:

Equity feminists find it reasonable to approach the problem of violence against women by addressing the root causes of the general rise in violence and the decline in civility. To view rape as a crime of gender bias… is perversely to miss its true nature. Rape is perpetrated by criminals, which is to say, it is perpetrated by people who are wont to gratify themselves in criminal ways and who care very little about the suffering they inflict on others.

Hoff-Sommers acknowledges that most violent criminals are male, but dismisses this as uninteresting: “That most violence is male isn’t news. But very little of it appears to be misogynist.”

And that is the “equity feminist” view on rape, according to the woman who invented the term.

What’s interesting to me is how, in bending over backwards to deny that rape has anything to do with gender bias, Hoff Sommers winds up not talking about rape at all, whinging on about “criminal violence” instead.

Yes, male-on-male rape is a serious problem (and a statistically huge problem in prison); but it’s not possible to seriously discuss causes and prevention of rape if we’re not willing to admit that – outside of environments where men are locked away from all access to women – rape is overwhelmingly perpetuated by men against women. And although all rapists are, by definition, criminals, the typical rapist isn’t a career criminal, but an acquaintance, boyfriend or husband of the victim. That’s the reality.

But since dealing with reality would conflict with “equity feminist” ideology, Hoff Sommers chooses not to deal in reality. Instead, according to “equity feminism,” rape has to be understood as a subcategory of gender-neutral “violence” and a “decline in civility,” and therefore has nothing to do with women being attacked at all.

(This is the second of three posts on “equity feminism” and “gender feminism.” Part one is here; part three is here).

This entry posted in Anti-feminists and their pals, Christina Hoff Sommers, Feminism, sexism, etc, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

49 Responses to "Equity feminism" and rape

  1. Pingback: feminist blogs

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    [Anyone very sensitive to discussions of rape or violence might want to bail on this comment, or be ready to.]

    OK, your argument has some merit.

    But hasn’t your philosophy laid the groundwork for this position to be taken?

    I can’t remember how many lectures I heard in college about how rape was not about sex, it was about power and violence and control. OK, so it’s about power, violence and control. (OK, it was maybe six lectures. They were cogently argued.)

    So if it’s about male power/control, who would you expect men to rape? Well, whover they felt they had power over. That could be children, but more likely it would be women. Many men feel they have power over women, and many men don’t feel they have that power but ought to; so one group would (presumably) rape women in order to demonstrate their power, and the latter group to try and assert it.

    Of course, in the all-male confines of a prison, there is very limited “availability” of women, and so men’s power relations are of necessity entirely male-oriented. So they rape men, instead.

    In both cases, the power dynamic is being expressed through rape. So Hoff-Sommers quite reasonably asks “what about this has much to do with women?” It’s not misogynist behavior, it’s mis-humanist behavior. Male people are being power-hungry assholes.

    Or at least, that is where logically following the premise that rape is about power takes us.

    Now if rape is not about power (or maybe, not mostly about power), but is about sex or sexuality or gender or something, then maybe Hoff-Sommers’ analysis is wacko wrong. But if it is, then her position seems, if not an exhaustive description of truth, at least somewhat familiar with the notion.

    Is the original premise wrong, about rape being a power trip, do you think?

  3. 3
    FoolishOwl says:

    This question:

    So Hoff-Sommers quite reasonably asks “what about this has much to do with women?”?

    is answered earlier in the post:

    So if it’s about male power/control, who would you expect men to rape? Well, whover they felt they had power over. That could be children, but more likely it would be women. Many men feel they have power over women, and many men don’t feel they have that power but ought to; so one group would (presumably) rape women in order to demonstrate their power, and the latter group to try and assert it.

    There’s the problem: men are supposed to have power, particularly power over women, and that’s part of the social construction of gender.

  4. 4
    Robert says:

    “…men are supposed to have power, particularly power over women, and that’s part of the social construction of gender.”

    OK, that’s true.

    But what I’m trying to say is that while it is very relevant to the women involved, it isn’t relevant to the problem of power.

    When there are no women, and no gender issues, the power abuse till occurs. This tells me, at any rate, that the problem is the power abuse, not the gender issue. If every woman on earth died tomorrow, God forbid, and we started to breed clones in vats, I think there would still be rape.

    So while the problem of rape may well be currently framed in gender-related terms, that framing construct isn’t going to suffice to do anything much about it, because the underlying problem has little or nothing to do with gender. It has to do with power relations.

    If we send ships to Mars to exploit its resources and it turns out there are Martians and they’re green, we may end up killing them and taking all their stuff. This won’t be because we have a problem with green people or are misgreenistic, it will be because we are greedy bastards with fewer ethics than Michael Eisner halfway through a coke binge. Attempts to frame the problem as humanity’s shameful verdophobia will probably have little positive effect.

    Or so I believe. These issues have a lot of viewpoint-related truth associated with them, so I don’t think I have all the answers here.

  5. 5
    FoolishOwl says:

    What I was saying was that the social construction of what a man is, involves having power over non-men. The men who get raped in prison are regarded as not really men.

    (Actually, I think part of the issue with gender is that the gender norms are truly impossible; no one can ever actually live up to them, so people are perpetually insecure in this gender they’re supposed to possess but don’t.)

    I believe that sexism IS really about power relations; I think the root of it is the economic interests of the ruling class in enforcing a particular model of the family. There’s a lot of complexity coming out of that root, of course.

  6. 6
    Observer says:

    As long as women are not in control, this problem is only going to get worse. I say we should throw all men into jail and pull them out only when we want pleasure.

    Women cannot rape. Women cannot commit sex-crimes. Women are not pediphiles. Women cannot commit violence whether domestic or other types of violence.

    It’s only men who do. We should do something to keep men from having any power!!!

  7. 7
    Amanda says:

    There’s not any straw left, Observer. You beat it all out.

    Robert, as FoolishOwl points out, male-on-male prison rape is enacted as if it were being done to women. Apparently, victims are referred to by feminine words like “bitch” a lot of the time.

    I find it interesting that anti-feminists drag out prison rape all the time, something that most men will never have to fear in their lives, to taunt women who live with an ever-present fear of rape.

  8. 8
    alsis38 says:

    Obviously, if certain men only have to fear rape under unusual circumstances –that is, they have to fear being “feminized” by a stronger, more remorseless male only if they find themselves doing time in jail– than rape remains indeed primarily an issue of men expressing power over women. A man’s fear of the exceptional circumstance is a woman’s fear of everyday life, as Amanda rightly pointed out. Though it annoys me no end that this salient difference still needs to be pointed out again and again to people like Robert.

  9. 9
    Ampersand says:

    But hasn’t your philosophy laid the groundwork for this position to be taken?

    I can’t remember how many lectures I heard in college about how rape was not about sex, it was about power and violence and control. OK, so it’s about power, violence and control. (OK, it was maybe six lectures. They were cogently argued.)

    That’s my philosophy? Funny, that doesn’t sound like my philosophy.

    Look, Robert, some half-remembered lectures from college (funny, I didn’t get that lecture, and I was a women’s studies major!) aren’t all of feminism. I’ve written about rape again and again on this blog, but I’ve never written that rape is about power, violence and control to the exclusion of all other factors. That’s not my “philosophy” at all.

    If you asked me what the primary causes of rape are, I wouldn’t say rape is about power, violence and control; I’d say it’s about women’s low status, men’s need to maintain their masculinity, and male entitlement. (In fact, that’s what I did say).

    And it’s not that my views on rape are heterodox within feminism; they’re derived from the work of many published feminists and also from women’s studies classes. You don’t know that, because your understanding of feminism begins and ends with whatever you picked up about feminism from the feminists around you in college (viewed through the lens of your own politics, of course). That’s fine, but you shouldn’t mistake it for a comprehensive understanding of what feminists believe.

    Look, it’s understandable that you have a pretty narrow idea of what feminism is, or what feminism says about rape. What bothers me is that even conservative “experts” on feminism share your narrow and uneducated view. Is it too much to ask that they display some awareness of, not only what stereotypical undergraduate feminists say about rape, but also what current feminist scholarship says about rape?

    * * *

    Anyway, to answer your question. No, my “philosophy” of rape in no way justifies or suggests Hoff Sommers’ approach.

  10. 10
    Rebecc says:

    I can’t remember how many lectures I heard in college about how rape was not about sex, it was about power and violence and control. OK, so it’s about power, violence and control. (OK, it was maybe six lectures. They were cogently argued.)

    Rape isn’t about sex, it is however very much about gender and sex roles. Men rape because they are asserting their power over someone else – in the vast majority of cases over women. (Though there are a number of cases of “straight” men raping gay men – and this has to be seen in the light that gay men are feminized in our culture and that they fuck up the gender dichotomy by opting out of it.) Rapists use rape as a way to retain their power, to maintain the gender dichotomy that is at the basis of most of our societal institutions. Women, as second class citizens, do not have the right to refuse a male advance and that male advance may be made without any physical attraction. It has nothing to do with sex as we know it, only with control. But it does have to do with women. It has to do with subjugating women as a whole to the male will (and I don’t think I’ve ever put it that way before). It has nothing to do with the specific woman, the victim is just a representative of her sex (or in the case of gay men – sexual orientation). So rape is fundamentally about misogyny. If misogyny didn’t exist – if it was an accepted norm that men and women were equal – rape would be drastically reduced because women would be seen as people, not objects or representatives of a second class sex.

  11. 11
    Robert says:

    “I’d say it’s about women’s low status, men’s need to maintain their masculinity, and male entitlement.”

    And yet in environments where two of these three factors are entirely nonoperative, we see rape. Indeed, we see more rape per capita than in the outside world.

    If someone tells me that my halitosis is caused by the fact that I don’t brush, by my consumption of beef, and by an abscess in my molars, that’s a reasonable hypothesis. If I start brushing every day, become a Vegan, and have the abscess drained, packed and healed, and then still have halitosis, I must re-examine the premise.

    I think part of the confusion stems from the fact that as things are right now, almost all rape is male-female. Women rightly feel highly victimized and highly vulnerable – and people in that state are not likely to conclude that the issue goes beyond their immediate, tragic, situation. Our hypothetical Martian friends, fighting a desperate war for their survival, will also not likely be in the mood for analyzing human patterns of conquest.

    But those underlying patterns are what are driving the phenomena.

    I’m sure my understanding of feminist theory is flawed and limited, and if the values I’ve assigned to various people are incorrect, I apologize for the misapperception. However, I think the logic of the rape-comes-from-misogyny approach is quite fatally flawed on empirical, not theoretical, grounds.

    Which is not to say that there isn’t a lot of misogyny in human society, or that misogyny doesn’t factor into a lot of the power dynamics at work in sexual assault.

  12. 12
    Q Grrl says:

    Robert, you yourself are pointing out the gendered nature of rape. You talk about test-tube like worlds where there are only men, and therefore men raping men. Nice and theoretical, but it’s not going to happen — nor do men feel they need to make that happen as they have access to a pool of rapeable humans: namely women. Your putting rape into such dichotomous veins is interesting in lieu of your disbelief that all men benefit from rape. In fact, by putting rape into a male only world vs the reality of rape that women face you come very close to highlighting the social benefit of rape for all men — mostly that if women are being raped, men can rest assured that they won’t be.

    Also, rape may not be about sex (or it may be). What you are missing is that part of feminist theory that states that heterosexual sex is also about power, violence and control. And has been used in these three arenas for millenia. So it’s really splitting hairs to say rape is about sex or rape is about power when the very basis of heterosexual relationships can’t move past power, violence, and control. *That* is why some of us, like me, say that we live in a rape society.

  13. 13
    Robert says:

    “You talk about test-tube like worlds where there are only men, and therefore men raping men. Nice and theoretical, but it’s not going to happen”

    Actually, I’m talking about observable, empirical reality. These aren’t test-tube hypotheses; it’s a living reality. Not theoretical in the slightest.

    “Your putting rape into such dichotomous veins is interesting in lieu of your disbelief that all men benefit from rape.”

    I don’t have that disbelief. I think you’re arguing with someone else here.

    That aside, I don’t know what dichotomization you are referring to. Could you explain it to me?

  14. 14
    NancyP says:

    Rape of women is often used to strike against enemy men. Bosnia, Darfur, etc. Or, if you wish to go back further, Judges 19 in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Law codes in the Hebrew Bible specify death for raping a betrothed or married woman, but specify paying a bride-price to the father of a raped unmarried, unbetrothed virgin daughter. In some cultures, the rapist is compelled to marry the raped virgin daughter without receiving dowry from the woman’s father.

    Rape of men is a common phenomenon among victorious soldiers who have captured enemy men. That black man in New York City who was sodomized with a broom handle by police; the Abu Ghraib prisoner sodomized with a nightstick by US soldiers or mercenaries; etc. The story of Sodom (Genesis 19) and the parallel story of Judges 19, in which the intended male victim threw his concubine out to the crowd as a substitute, are Biblical stories of gang rape intended to humiliate and “make into a woman” enemy men.

    Rape expresses a hierarchy: Men Like Us are superior to 1. women 2. enemy men. Enemy men are converted to “women” by the act of sodomization, are shamed to cause loss of leadership status normally conferred by male gender.

  15. 15
    Robert says:

    How is male entitlement (entitlement to access the bodies ofwomen, is how I read Amp) operative in a prison setting?

    I’m not saying that gender or misogyny aren’t factors in rape. I’m saying that they can’t be the primary factors, because rape occurs in contexts which are degendered.

  16. 16
    Q Grrl says:

    Rape never occurs in situations where it is “degendered’; which is the point many feminists try to make. What you are talking about are situations in which occurs in a “desexed” population.

  17. 17
    Robert says:

    “Rape never occurs in situations where it is “degendered’; which is the point many feminists try to make.”

    Well, yeah. It’s your starting premise.

    And arguments based on it tend to be rejected by people who also reject the premise. And thus, a split between people who think women are oppressed and marginalized but that everything doesn’t come down to gender and misogyny, and people who do think everything comes down to gender and misogyny (he said, generalizing wildly).

    It’s my belief, upon observation, that the premise that rape stems from power has greater explanatory power than the premise that rape stems from gender constructs. (I think feminists like Hoff-Sommers agree, or rather, that I agree with her, since she was here first.) It’s your belief that the contrary proposition holds, I think.

    Neither of us will convince the other by citing our premises at one another.

  18. 18
    FoolishOwl says:

    Again, male victims of rape are regarded as not men. This is well known.

    As I keep saying, gender is a social construction. Perhaps calling it a social relationship would be clearer. Men are supposed to have power over non-men. It’s usually assumed that this social relationship is related to your biology, but it isn’t always — there are lots of exceptions. Men raping men, and calling those victims of rape “women,” or one of many slang expressions to indicate they’re feminized, is one of those exceptions.

  19. 19
    FoolishOwl says:

    Gender constructs ARE an issue of power relationships.

  20. 20
    Q Grrl says:

    foolishowl beat me to it…. thanx

    Gender is a construct of power hierarchies, not sex.

  21. 21
    Ampersand says:

    How is male entitlement (entitlement to access the bodies ofwomen, is how I read Amp) operative in a prison setting?

    You made a mistake; that’s not how I meant it. (Some) men feel that if they need or want something, they’re entitled to it. Outside of prison, this means rapists percieve sexuality as something possesed by women which they are entitled to take. Inside prison, the same basic principle applies, but is redirected from women to weak (and therefore, in prison-think, feminine) men.

    Empirically, it’s been shown that rapists tend to both put more stock in conventional gender roles and to value hypermasculinity more than other men. I don’t see how an explanation of rape that completely ignores gender can explain that.

    Nor do I see how an explanation of rape that complete ignores gender can explain why the overwhelming majority of rapists everywhere are male, and the overwhelming majority of victims outside of men’s prisons are female.

  22. 22
    NancyP says:

    Why do heterosexual men sodomize other heterosexual men with implements, say, nightsticks? Why not use the nightstick to whack the victim over the head repeatedly? Nightstick over head would certainly fulfill any urge to standard-issue violence. This phenomenon of “gratuitous” rape by implement, **without perpetrator orgasm**, suggests that the perpetrator has sexual humiliation as his goal, not mere violence. And the humiliation here is the same as expressed verbally by Ahnuld the Governator – “girly-men” – in other words, making the enemy/victim as powerless and disrespected as a standard-issue biological woman.

  23. 23
    NancyP says:

    Maybe I should make that, “without ADMITTED perpetrator orgasm”. I suppose there are some who get their rocks off merely by beating up people without actually having genital contact with the victims. However, you can bet that those policemen or Natl Guardsmen doing sodomizing by implement would not brag about getting their rocks off by that violence against another man.

  24. 24
    Sheelzebub says:

    The whole “men get raped in prison” argument ignores one thing: women get raped in prison. Not only are we more likely to be targeted for rape outside of prison, but it also happens inside.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/women/womeninprison.html

  25. 25
    Jake says:

    “The whole “men get raped in prison”? argument ignores one thing: women get raped in prison. Not only are we more likely to be targeted for rape outside of prison, but it also happens inside.

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/women/womeninprison.html

    Wow, what a blatent disregard for reality. I guess people only want to see what they want to see. A long while ago, and I mean at least sixty years ago, America, all of Europe, Eastern Europe, and the rest of the world decided that only women should guard other women. Sadly folks men are not there guarding them. (Though it’s ok for women to guard men, especially when men are getting dressed!!!!) Oh, one other thing, the women in prison who are getting raped, are getting raped by other women!

  26. 26
    Amanda says:

    Once again, I get the creepy feeling that someone is suggesting that because a few women have raped, all men should be free to do so.

  27. 27
    Jake says:

    “Once again, I get the creepy feeling that someone is suggesting that because a few women have raped, all men should be free to do so. ”

    So the bigger question is this: so you are saying it’s ok for women to rape?

    Even if it’s just few times, does that make it ok for women to rape?

    I’m saying that it’s not ok for either men or women to rape anyone else!

  28. 28
    alsis38 says:

    “…Wow, what a blatent disregard for reality. I guess people only want to see what they want to see. A long while ago, and I mean at least sixty years ago, America, all of Europe, Eastern Europe, and the rest of the world decided that only women should guard other women. Sadly folks men are not there guarding them. …

    From sheelzebub’s link:

    There are 148,200 women in state and federal prisons. In federal women’s correctional facilities, 70% of guards are male. Records show correctional officials have subjected female inmates to rape, other sexual assault, sexual extortion, and groping during body searches. Male correctional officials watch women undressing, in the shower or the toilet. Male correctional officials retaliate, often brutally, against female inmates who complain about sexual assault and harassment …

    Way to prove that you read the article beforehand, Jake. [rolleyes] But why let actual information get in the way of your outrage, eh ?

  29. 29
    Jack V. says:

    I’d say it’s about women’s low status, men’s need to maintain their masculinity, and male entitlement.

    What about Occam’s razor? Looking for the simplest explanation, and all that? What happens in rape is that a man gets sexual release. Mightn’t the overwhelming desire for sexual release play just the teensiest role? If your explanatory factors were all that were involved, we wouldn’t have any idea why some men rape as opposed to drinking beer and watching football all day. The latter is far easier, after all, and less likely to result in jail time.

  30. 30
    Jake says:

    I actually read that artical and if I really wanted to I could gather up at least thirty diffrent guard manuals, plus at least five sepreate people who work at female prisions (who happen to also be females) who can refute that artical and what you said.

    A variety of nations a long time ago decided upon having just females guarding females, if you want to debate this any farther, I sugggest you contact the various governments and ask them their rules governing prisions.

    I’ve already done my homework and I also live in reality too. While you want to get up in arms over one artical (Which puts forward some shady information), then you can, while the rest of us can move on.

    My question is, why is it ok for females to guard females, but it’s ok for females to guard males?

  31. 31
    Ampersand says:

    What happens in rape is that a man gets sexual release. Mightn’t the overwhelming desire for sexual release play just the teensiest role?

    I don’t agree with “overwhelming” (which implies that rapists would be unable to control their impulses, even if they wanted to) but obviously the desire for sex is what motivates many rapists.

    However, since the huge majority of people experience sexual desire – and yet the huge majority 0f people don’t rape – I think an analysis that just says “they wanted sex” isn’t very useful.

    Also, rapists are not exclusively (or even especially) men who can’t get sex any other way. The reason rape is strongly associated with football teams, frat houses, etc. isn’t that football players are especially unlikely to be able to have sex unless they force someone.

    (IMO, the reason is that men who spend a lot of their lives in social groups in wihch “masculinity” is held as extraordinary important feel more pressure to – and entitlement to – prove their worth by getting “laid”).

    * * *

    By the way, do you realize that your posts often have (or seem to have) a condescending attitude? I know you don’t post here very often, but when you do it always seems you’re being a bit snarky, and talking to me as if I must be an idiot (e.g., “Anyway, ever hear of the principle that correlation isn’t causation? “). I don’t agree with you; that doesn’t mean I’m a moron.

  32. 32
    Julian Elson says:

    I’m no expert on prison sociology, but I think that we’re being a little bit myopic on the issue of prison rape. I don’t think it’s just something that coincidentally happens a lot when you put a bunch of guys together. With prison gang-violence, at least, it is promoted by guards who arrange matters. I don’t know if the same is true for rape, but I suspect that it is. This, in turn, is, I suspect, a result of the view that if you’re in prison, you must deserve pretty much the worst that could happen to you anyway. (get those criminal scum behind bars and all that) It’s basically a way of torturing people while saying that we aren’t torturers. See Niel Sinhababu.

    I seem to remember having some (at the time, I thought) brilliant insight on this matter, but it doesn’t come to mind.

  33. 33
    alsis38 says:

    I actually read that artical and if I really wanted to I could gather up at least thirty diffrent guard manuals, plus at least five sepreate people who work at female prisions (who happen to also be females) who can refute that artical and what you said.

    [snicker] “artical” ? And why don’t you really want to ? Your whole modus operandi here seems to be that since some men get raped, any feminist precept you don’t like can be thrown into the trash like yesterday’s vegetable peelings. Really, if it’s all out there for the taking, feel free to share.

    A variety of nations a long time ago decided upon having just females guarding females, if you want to debate this any farther, I sugggest you contact the various governments and ask them their rules governing prisions.

    Ummm… No. This is your strawman, Jake. You’re responsible for its upkeep, not me.

    I’ve already done my homework and I also live in reality too. While you want to get up in arms over one artical (Which puts forward some shady information), then you can, while the rest of us can move on.

    Condescend much ? Why should I take your word over Sheelzebub ? At least she’s attempted to post some links, plus she can spell.

    My question is, why is it ok for females to guard females, but it’s ok for females to guard males?

    I don’t give a damn about your question. It’s a self-centered diversion of your own creation, not echoed by anything any feminist has said in this thread. Go spend an hour with spellcheck, why don’t you ? Your attempts at guilt-mongering and derailment of the main point are unwelcome, not to mention boring.

  34. 34
    Q Grrl says:

    what alsis said.

  35. 35
    Jack V. says:

    I apologize if my occasional posts seem snarky. I only feel motivated to post when I notice that something is glaringly missing from the analysis on hand. Hence my earlier comment (which I had forgotten — you have a good memory!).

    In any event, while I do apologize, I’d note that while my posts may be “snarky,” much worse could be said in regards to 60 or 70% of the posts around here. Many of the regular posters here commonly fall back on ad hominem attacks, wild misstatements of the other side’s arguments or personal characteristics, unsupportable factual claims, and so forth.

  36. 36
    Sheelzebub says:

    Jake, you obviously didn’t read the article. If you had, you would have seen that males do guard female inmates. You obviously can’t refute this, so you’re throwing around so-called facts with no documentation (and frankly, if another country doesn’t allow men to guard women, it doesn’t negate the fact that it does happen in the US).

    If you are going to make assertions, I suggest you link to credible sites/studies to back them up, and not assign us homework. That’s not establishing your credibility on this issue–it’s only showing that you’re inept in debating.

    If I want to eat fish, I’ll get some salmon, not the red herrings you’re offering.

  37. 37
    Jake says:

    Actually Sheelzebub, I work in the field, but then again, I’ll this: if you beleave that both in the use and in other contries are using men to guard women, then I want you to provide the proof.

    It’s funny how you guys always beleave what you read online is true. I’ve worked in prisons before, I’ve seen many diffrent manuals, that would take lots of time and money to scan for you to read, but they all say females must guard females. It the same in the U.S. as it is in Canada, England, Germany, France, Spain, etc, etc, etc.

    If you still doubt me, then get up from your chair, put on a coat if it’s cold outside, get in a car if you can drive, drive (or, walk) over to either a prison or a police station and ask them yourself. You think that everything you see on the internet is true. So insted, get up off your duff and go out there and see the real prisons and ask people who work there themselves. THat is the only way you can be sure of absolute truth otherwise what you are saying as a load of %%^&!!

  38. 38
    Observer says:

    Jake: “So the bigger question is this: so you are saying it’s ok for women to rape?

    Even if it’s just few times, does that make it ok for women to rape?”

    How dare you!!

    Women don’t rape!! It’s only men that rape. Women are innocent and you know it!!!

    “My question is, why is it ok for females to guard females, but it’s ok for females to guard males? ”

    Also how dare you imply that it’s not ok for women to guard men!!! Women have every right to guard men. Men should be pulled out of every female prison now!!

    Women are harmless, it’s men we have to worry about!!!

  39. 39
    Sally says:

    Just for kicks, I googled “women”, “prisons” and “site:.gov.” The first thing that came up was this letter from the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights about sexual abuse in Arizona women’s prisons. Here’s a relevant quote:

    We have received significant information — including five of the Jane Doe affidavits and Case #22 in the ADOC Matrix — that female inmates’ privacy rights are violated by male correctional officers who, without good reason, engage in frequent, prolonged, close-up and prurient viewing of female inmates showering and using toilet facilities.

    (emphasis mine)
    Is there some distinction between a “guard” and a “correctional officer” that I’m missing? Are you claiming that the US Department of Justice is putting misinformation about American prisons on its webpage.

    I could come up with more examples, but I won’t, because it would derail the thread.

  40. 40
    Sheelzebub says:

    Actually Sheelzebub, I work in the field, but then again, I’ll this: if you beleave [sic] that both in the use [sic] and in other contries [sic] are using men to guard women, then I want you to provide the proof.

    I did–Amnesty does link to the states and the Bureau of Prisons. I suggest you take your own advice.

    It’s funny how you guys always beleave [sic] what you read online is true.

    Not true. I don’t believe you, after all. You haven’t provided any proof to your assertions. Instead, you give me some line about how you’ve “in prisons before” and act as though that should be enough. Sorry, but credible research and governmental agencies trump some random poster’s unsubstantiated claims any day.

    I’ve seen many diffrent manuals, that would take lots of time and money to scan for you to read, but they all say females must guard females. It the same in the U.S. as it is in Canada, England, Germany, France, Spain, etc, etc, etc.

    Translation: I don’t actually have the proof, Sheelzebub, I’m just talking out of my ass. I’d say the only one who’s full of shit is you, kiddo.

  41. 41
    wookie says:

    The only “restriction” that I am aware of regaring gender of guards versus prisoners is that in general, female guards are not permitted in a male prison. This was, to my knowledge, for safety reasons, but may or may not only apply to the specific prison with which I am quasi-familiar (having a friend who ran programs there).

    In my opinion, rape is about power and/or dehumanization (not accrediting human feelings and rights to your rapee), and the sexual release/gratification/whatever is simply window dressing.

  42. 42
    mythago says:

    Why is it that supposedly “men’s rights” people like Observer are more than happy to crap all over male victims of sexual assault in their quest to scream at feminists?

  43. 43
    Trish Wilson says:

    Mythago, I can’t speak for Observer, but the “men’s rights” activists use male victims of sexual assault as a red herring. They’re really only interested in bashing women. If they were as concerned about male victims as they claim to be, they would help them by funding shelters and funding education campaigns and doing whatever is necessary to help abused men. They aren’t interested in that at all. They do both women and men (including abused men) a disservice.

  44. 44
    alsis38 says:

    How many times do I have to explain it to you people ? An abused/sexually assaulted/raped man is a de facto woman… at least in MensRightsTrollLand. He [sic] isn’t Real Mens’[tm] problem, he’s OUR problem !!

    Get with the program already !!

  45. 45
    this girl says:

    As someone who was raped by her boyfriend, I can offer a slightly different perspective — or, rather, an additional one.

    I was raped because he saw me as his property. More precisely, he saw my body as his property. He wanted some, and would not take no for an answer. Why? My agreement was not required for my participation.

    If he just wanted to get off, he could have taken care of that alone. Or he could have actually engaged me with some attention. But he was rather drunk.

    I wasn’t there. He played with his vagina. I struggled but he was too strong. I cried. I could have really fought, but that could have led to some really brutal violence. As it was, he was not malicious — he just claimed ownership of me as if he were entitled.

    Power. Control.

    I’ve not seen him since then. It was a deep betrayal of our relationship, and it destroyed all trust I had for him. Since he wasn’t trying to take me down a peg or teach me a lesson or whatever, I feel I got away without experiencing the worst of sexual assault. But I make no mistake that this was all about sex. Just because he wasn’t trying to make a point about his power over me doesn’t mean he did not claim and exert it over me.

    This isn’t about who does what to whom in prisons. Talk about a straw man! This is about the fact that 1/3 of the women today have been or will be raped in her lifetime. Many will not report it — because the system tends to treat the rape suspect as the victim, or because the rapist is her boyfriend or husband or father.

    Imagine a particular kind of violent crime being perpetrated on 1/3 of all men, and nothing happening. No, I cannot imagine it, either.

  46. 46
    Robert says:

    This girl, that’s a horrific experience to have to go through. My sympathies.

  47. 47
    Amanda says:

    This girl, that sucks. I’m sure you realize from reading these boards that you are not alone, if that’s any comfort.

  48. 48
    mythago says:

    I’m very sorry that you had the experience necessary to make that point, this girl.

  49. 49
    ginmar says:

    And the trolls were silent….